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Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather clocks evolved with the development of the pendulum clock in the 17th century. Innovative clockmakers lengthened pendulums in order to create a more reliable timekeeping device, and a case was needed to protect the pendulum and weights for domestic clocks. This inconvenience was solved by creating the longcase style of clock, more commonly known as the grandfather clock.

By the mid-18th century, American clockmakers began making tall-case clocks by hand. Due to the heavy tax on brass and other clockmaking materials shipped from abroad, the colonial grandfather clock was made mostly of wood, including its movements.

Originally producing chiming wall and mantel clocks, Howard Miller began manufacturing grandfather clocks in the '60s including the colonial-style Barwick grandfather clock. Tempus Fugit grandfather clocks are often assumed to be a brand name, but many clockmakers and watchmakers through history have inscribed the Latin phrase that translates to "time flies" on the dial of a clock. Though often applied to Ridgeway or Howard Miller clocks, the term can apply to any clock bearing the words. Modern grandfather clocks from Tiffany and Swedish Mora Gustavian spice up design collections with their contemporary edginess.


Quick Facts

  • A mid-18th century Northern European marquetry and walnut longcase clock sold for $9,999 at Bonhams in 2004
  • A William III walnut striking longcase made by Thomas Tompion around 1699 realized a price of $181,519 at an auction by Christie’s London in 2012
  • A Philadelphia Chippendale carved walnut tall-case clock with a dial signed by Edward Duffield and a case attributed to Nicholas Bernard and Martin Jugiez realized a price of $386,500 at a Christie’s New York auction in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

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Georgian Oak Long Cased Clock With Arched Face. Comes With Weights. Measures: 204x47x24cm
Apr 28, 12:00 PM AEST
Georgian Oak Long Cased Clock With Arched Face. Comes With Weights. Measures: 204x47x24cm
by Pottle Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD303 Bids
Italian cherubs wood case tall grandfather clock 2pc
Apr 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Italian cherubs wood case tall grandfather clock 2pc
by South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$5502 Bids
Standuhr England 1780/90.
May 03, 10:00 AM CEST
Standuhr England 1780/90.
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €340- €500
€3400 Bids
Antique Danish Long Case Clock
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Danish Long Case Clock
by Regency Auction House
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
Ridgeway cherry case brass face grandfather clock
Apr 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Ridgeway cherry case brass face grandfather clock
by South Jersey Auction by Babington Auction Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
Self Winding Clock Co. master clock for Panama canal locks
Apr 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Self Winding Clock Co. master clock for Panama canal locks
by Schmitt Horan & Co.
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
J.W. Shepherd grandmother clock
Apr 28, 11:00 AM EDT
J.W. Shepherd grandmother clock
by Schmitt Horan & Co.
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
Standuhr
May 03, 10:00 AM CEST
Standuhr
by Dusseldorfer Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€2400 Bids
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GRANDFATHER CLOCK OF THE LATE ROCOCO
Apr 27, 10:00 AM CEST
GRANDFATHER CLOCK OF THE LATE ROCOCO
by Auktionshaus Eppli
Est: €550- €650
€5500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Grandfather Clocks


Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Claydon Auctioneers

Claydon Auctioneers

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Sheppards

Sheppards